The Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program in Alberta provides financial assistance available to those that are handicapped, reside in Alberta and are unable to earn a living to support themselves. There are certain criteria that need to be met before the AISH supplement will be provided. These include:
- You must be between the ages of 18 to 64.
- Your combined income and assets, between you and your partner, must not be above the amounts allowed by the program.
- Your handicap must be severe enough that you are unable to function in a job.
- You are not permitted to be living in an institution whether that is a correctional facility or psychiatric hospital.
As of January 2012, the maximum monthly allotment from AISH is $1188.00. This amount will be adjusted if you or your partner is receiving any type of income that is not exempt or if you reside in a group facility. If the applicant lives in a care home there is a monthly amount of $315.00 that is given.
AISH also provides assistance with certain medical expenses. This includes those for spouses and dependents. Benefits that are provided:
- Ambulance fees
- Supplies for those that are diabetic
There is also financial assistance provided for specific expenses that are over and above what is included in the standard amount given that is referred to as personal benefits. In order to qualify you and your partner must have assets that are below $3,000.00 and you must not be receiving coverage from any other plan. Any other form of income will also be taken into consideration when determining eligibility. Other benefits include:
- Assistance with Moving Expenses: If you have to relocate due to your disability and living accessibility or you are your child are in any type of danger including abusive situations your cost will be covered up to a maximum of $1000.00. You will also be reimbursed if you are moving for guaranteed employment.
- Small medical equipment that is necessary may be covered. This includes canes, crutches, thermometer, breast pump or blood pressure monitor.
- Large medical equipment must be considered as essential and up to a maximum of $2000.00 is allowed.
- There may be equipment or supplies that are either disposable (for example blood testing strips) or intended for one time use. These will be covered up to a cost of $150.00/month.
- Education for that of a dependent child. For kindergarten $50.00 per school year, grades 1-6 $100.00 per school year and grades 7-12 $175.00 per school year.
- Sometimes, there are emergencies that occur that are beyond the control of the recipient. Amount given will be based on the most economical solution. Some examples include:
- Repair for appliances
- Damage deposit
- Food evictions
- Utilities that are behind in payment
- The parent portion of any subsidized daycare is allowed as well as $4.00/hour for a dependent child at a private facility.
- A monthly allowance of up to $110.00/month is permitted for special diets that are medically required.
- Supplies for oxygen allow up to $50.00/year
- Other allowed health care services that have been prescribed by a physician are physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy and acupuncture.
- People who receive AISH are encouraged to find employment if they are physically able. The amount you earn will affect how much assistance you receive. The first $400.00 of your total monthly net employment is completely exempt. After that, up to $1500.00 is considered 50% exempt until a maximum amount of $950.00/month.
- There is also a family exemption for single parents with dependent children or recipients who live with a partner who has dependent children. The first $975.00 of combined monthly net employment is exempt. Then up to $2500.00 is 50% exempt until a maximum of $1738.00/month.
In order to apply for the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped benefit you will need to fill in an application, which you can get at your local government office or online. Then you will be supplied with a document that needs to be filled out by a qualified physician. This process can take a while, up to six weeks so it is best to make sure you have all required documents completed.
Once it has been determined that you qualify a worker will visit you to make sure all your questions are answered and that you have a complete understanding of the program and what your benefits are. If you feel your disability meets the stated requirements then visit any office, call 1-866-477-8589 or dial 310-0000 to be connected to the office that is nearest to you.